Third, forgiveness is a process. Healing takes time, especially when we are dealing with so many elements. In this case the issue of racial healing alone is a mammoth request. When you add in the media, corporate sponsors, money—and so forth—you have a situation that will take time to resolve. When we ask for forgiveness, we may be dealing with family dynamics and history, or with corporate culture, or with race—in addition to our personal act of wrongdoing. But our request for healing includes coming to an understanding of what each of these elements has to do with our spiritual growth. Did we add to the lower vibration of negative images? Did we give into impulses or what has been historically comfortable for us, not pushing ourselves to go against the grain, which might mean going against loved ones or a culture?

There is God’s forgiveness, which Deen has. God will consider her heart and intentions. He will judge her “righteously.” But she lives in this world and so forgiveness is a different process here. Regardless, there are consequences—spiritually and legally—for the wrong we do. Now Paula Deen has her own work to do on her own life.

I hope that when the mockery of Deen and the dumping stops, she will have learned something and we will have learned something too. We all need to recognize that true healing is not a nice, neat little package and that it still takes place in the hostile environment we have created and maintain when we do not tell the truth.

The truth is most of us have used or thought racial epithets and that many of us still support racist institutions and behavior. But the truth is also that we are asking for healing and forgiveness in many ways. Hopefully, Deen represents a larger transition, an alignment of who we were with who we are becoming. We are not there yet. Expect more chaos as we heal. Just consider it good chaos.

Patrice Gaines is an author, motivational speaker, spiritual counselor and intuitive. Please visit her on the web at, on YouTube at TheLightChanneler or on Twitter,

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